(Maybe it’s not too late to learn to hit the 3-wood, Jase. Pic: Some Blog)
Well, this is just about the most pussy thing we’ve ever heard: Sherdog reports this week that UFC B-listers Jason Brilz and Jake Ellenberger are likely out of their jobs as assistant wrestling coaches at University of Nebraska-Omaha, as the university plans to scratch its powerhouse grappling program while making the jump to Division I.
A longtime juggernaut at the NCAA Division II level, UNO reportedly has designs on joining something called the Summit League, a D-I conference that includes such bastions of higher learning as Oral Roberts, Southern Utah and Western Illinois but does not offer wrestling or football. As a result – and despite the fact the Maverick grapplers have won six national titles in the last eight years – the school plans to cut both sports, replacing them with (holy fucking shit) men’s golf and soccer. Are you kidding me? Men’s golf? To make matters worse, Brilz reports UNO brass called longtime wrestling coach Mike Denney to let him know they were axing his whole program the same night the team won its third consecutive national title.
“Our coach got a call seriously an hour after we won the title,” Brilz says. “I guess it points to what sports are becoming. Our coach has been there 32 years. He built this program. He made it dominant. He’s been loyal to the school. He could have gone to Division I if he wanted, but he was loyal to the program and he worked his butt off.”
Now, here’s where it gets really weird. The school – as they almost always do – is citing financial concerns as its reason for dropping wrestling and football and Athletics Director Trev Alberts (yes, apparently the same dude who used to co-host ESPN’s “College GameDay” football show) released an explanatory statement full of BS and academic double talk, like: “This was an effort to look at UNO achieving long-term sustainability and relevancy in this market. Heretofore, blah, blah, blah,” Alberts said.
So, yeah, follow the money, essentially. Yet check out what Brilz says about the finances of the wrestling team:
“We’ve always been under budget,” the light heavyweight fighter says. “Our budget is $21,000. That’s what the school pays for all our travel and everything. So we raise almost $80,000 every year by putting on clinics, tournaments and golf outings. We could go move into the Missouri Valley Conference or the Western Athletic Conference. One of those. We could go in there and compete. I think another conference would welcome us with open arms.”
We’re not college-level administrators, obviously, but (assuming what Brilz says is true) we can’t possibly see how just scrapping one of your most prestigious and allegedly in-the-black athletic programs makes any kind of sense at all. Prior to today, the only reason we’ve ever even heard of the University of Nebraska-Omaha is because we’ve watched them win national wrestling championships on TV before. So, smooth move, Trev. Have fun getting shitcanned by the South Dakota State Jackrabbits in the Summit Conference championship of men’s fucking golf every year. We’re sure that’ll getcha on TV.
But, wait. Sherdog says there is a slim chance to save the UNO wrestling program. It reads as follows:
“The University of Nebraska Board of Regents is holding a special meeting to review the university’s decision to drop the programs. In order for the move to become official, the panel must approve the university’s decision. The Board of Regents will vote on Friday, March 25 to decide the fate of UNO wrestling and football.”
“We’re just praying for a miracle,” Brilz says.
Great, now we’re mad. Nice way to end a Friday. Happy weekend, everybody.